“You can’t win people’s hearts and their contribution by horrifying them.” Said Bill Haber, who had co-founded Creative Artists Agency and now was the head of the nonprofit organization, Save the Children.
The problem he faced right off was the scale of the organization and the scope of need that it served. “We’re wired to respond emotionally one to one,” he told Peter Guber. “So our story had to turn the listener into the hero for that one child. Our story had to be that every single child has a story, and if you save one child’s life, then you’ve made a difference that matters. Through that one life, you can change the world.”
To open the way for the audience to play a heroic role, the story has to hold out hope, Bill said. The solution that Save the Children has adopted is to tell the story via sponsorship. “Sponsorship is where you spend $24, which goes to one child. Then the child writes you. You get a picture of the child, which puts a face on the major character of a story in which you personally participate.”
In 2006 Save the Children’s sponsors included more than a third of the top global brands ranked by BusinessWeek. “Just tell people that they can make a difference in one child’s life,” Bill said. “That’s how you change the world.” Now the contributor owns the story and pays it forward in his or her own personal way, virally marketing the cause.
MORE ABOUT TELL TO WIN
To validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.